Steve's Language Gym

  • If the way I treat you stinks, please tell me so.
  • Topics: language learning & teaching; rhetoric.
  • Environments: non-religious workplaces; church environments.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Meal-plan extortion by USC campus housing

My girlfriend's daughter, an upper-division undergraduate student at the University of Southern California, just moved from off-campus housing into an apartment in a building inside the main campus. Her apartment has a full kitchen including a sink, a refrigerator, an oven and stove, cabinets, and a countertop. She likes the apartment and the convenient location, and she is willing to pay the rent that the USC housing office is charging her.

However, she is angry that the housing office also requires her, a non-freshman and non-dormitory resident already paying for a full kitchen, to buy an on-campus cafeteria meal plan. The cheapest one costs $500 for the semester for a three meals a week ($10.42 per meal), the next one up $1,000 for more meals, and the most expensive one $3,000 for all-one-can-eat ($26.79 per day). Because of her family's modest financial position, she is a mostly-self-supporting student (and that mostly by debt through student loans). She tries to spend the least she can spend, and she also knows how to shop frugally and cook well (balanced nutrition, good flavor, and variety), so she grudgingly chose and paid for the $500 plan.

The prices of the meal plans, the force of that requirement, and the full kitchen already covered by her rent all add up to extortion in my opinion. Extortion! Can this be prosecuted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act? (The link goes to Wikipedia.)

Links to my causes

About Me

My photo
Passions: learning & teaching languages; rhetoric. Jobs: non-religious jobs. Church: active. Attitude: I push religious matters mostly on my own kind. You are welcome to push back in comments, whatever your religion is or isn't. Languages spoken: Mandarin Chinese, French, and some Spanish. Languages read: ancient Greek (more than just the New Testament!) and some Biblical Hebrew.